Add Flexibility to Brand Position

Establishing a brand position is essential in today's crowded marketplace. Brands clash with numerous competitors to persuade customers that their offering is the one that is better, superior, or otherwise the best solution. Positioning is a strategy to stake claim to a point of difference that can enable a brand to separate itself from the pack.

Brand positioning works... sometimes too well. A great example is Wal-Mart. It staked out a low price position and used it effectively. In recent years, Wal-Mart tried to shift perceptions to be viewed as more of a lifestyle brand and not all about low price. Wal-Mart was struggling to burst out of the low price box, but along came the recession and being perceived as great value was in vogue again.

Another brand that seems to be looking to move beyond its core positioning strategy is GEICO. Saving money was the point of difference GEICO used to entrench itself in the auto insurance market. More recently, the savings benefit has been complemented with an ease of use benefit ("so easy a caveman can do it"). Now, GEICO has bowed an ad campaign touting a 97% customer satisfaction rating. The ads deliver additional brand associations about GEICO. Persuading consumers that GEICO provides efficient claims service would serve to negate suggestions by competitors like Allstate and State Farm that low price insurance means one receives less service in return.

GEICO is being smart by giving its brand position some flexibility. It is not relegated to being a low price brand. Positions need to change in response to market conditions and consumer tastes as well as reflect competitive activity. GEICO appears to be well positioned to compete in the auto insurance category for years to come.

Marketing Daily - "GEICO Shifts Ad Focus from Savings to Service"

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